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Things To Do In Downtown Rockford

Buy Local Fruits From Rockford City Market

‘Back the Blue’ rally in downtown Rockford

Editor’s Note: Photo taken from the establishment’s official social account

A post shared by Rockford City Market on Sep 26, 2017 at 1:12pm PDT

Visit the famous Friday market of Rockford City Market where you can buy fresh local fruits and vegetables straight from the farmers. The nearly 10-year-old market is held every Friday and is visited by nearly 100,000 visitors every season. More than 70 vendors offer their fresh produce, food items, artisanal wares, craft brews, etc. at this market. Stroll through the various stalls on display at Rockford City Market and pick up some local fruits like apples, strawberries, pears, etc. for your next meal.

Rockford City Market

Opening hours: Fri: 3:30pm – 8:30pm

Best Things To Do Rockford Il

History, industry, agriculture, and the arts all converge in Rockford, Illinois. Rockford is a beautiful historic city located on both sides of the Rock River in Northern Illinois. Though Rockfords history is primarily industrial, the city has a reputation for preserving and promoting the arts. Visitors to the Forest City, as it is sometimes called, will find many museums, preserved homes, and gardens as well as shopping, restaurants, parks, and more. The following list contains some cant-miss destinations for those travelling to Rockford. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

Immerse Yourself In Pop Culture


This is one of the most fun things to do in Rockford, IL. The name of this private museum is deceiving. Historic Auto Attractions is an unmissable, wild and wonderful collection of seemingly random pop culture items. Including movie memorabilia and historical artifacts!

See a chariot used in the movie Ben Hur, Chief Sitting Bulls signature and even a limo that was part of JFKs motorcade that tragic day in Texas. There are guns and coats from the Wild West or mobster-era Chicago. There are displays of instruments and clothes owned by American music stars, NASA equipment from historic missions and a whole bunch of other pop-culture wonders.

Probably the most fascinating section is dedicated to JFK. And of course, there are cars, including one that was owned by Elvis!

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Sports And Outdoor Activities In Rockfordview All

Rockford has an active community and vibrant ecosystem. Unleash your adventurous side for activities like wakeboarding, ziplining, kayaking, plus more. And if hiking is your thing, youll probably never hike the same trail twice if you dont want too.

Active things to see in Rockford include:

  • Head to Alpine Hills Adventure Park for ziplining and a five-hole golf course
  • Spend a day biking and enjoying great views of the river at Sinnissippi Park
  • Hike one of the several trails at Severson Dells
  • Wakeboard on Levings Lake at West Rock Wake Park
  • Whether youre a novice or expert on the waters, join the Adventure Club at Rocktown Adventures

Observe Art At The Rockford Art Museum

Downtown Rockford Is In High Demand For Millennials

If you want to explore the burgeoning art scene, Rockford Art Museum regularly puts works from local artists on a rotating display throughout the year.

The museum also has pieces from the early days of the region’s art scene. There are more than 1900 pieces of artwork dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, and some from the current century.

Other attractions at the Rockford Art Museum include an eclectic mix of contemporary art and multi-media pieces, a notable photography collection, and much more.

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Experience The Kegel Harley

If you have an interest in motorcycles, then the Kegel Harley-Davidson. You have the opportunity to see the oldest family-owned Harley-Davidson dealership in the whole world. Interestingly, the dealership here has amassed awards for its exhibition of the emblematic motorcycles.

The facility has an expanded showroom that features fashion and riding gear, a full-service department, accessories, parts, and collectibles.

There is also a great riding academy and an attached store where you can get Harley-Davidson-related clothing, memorabilia, and souvenirs.

Enjoy lunch or dinner here. Its a complete experience!

Address: 7125 Harrison Ave, Rockford, IL 61112.

Check Out The Historic Exhibits At Midway Village And Museum Center

The space inside a pioneer wagon, about 40 square feet, didnât have much room. Families had to decide what to bring, and…

Posted by Midway Village Museum on Thursday, 30 May 2019

Learn about the history, culture and people of Rockford at the main museum of the Midway Village and Museum Center. The museum has a vast collection of exhibits that include rare photographs, documents, maps, historical artifacts, furniture, clothing, accessories, vehicles, household objects, and more. The museum is a 20,000-square-foot space with six exhibition galleries, an audio-visual room, a gift store, and a library. The museum is dedicated to educating the visitors about the history of immigration in Rockford by way of historic exhibits.

Midway Village and Museum Center

Address: 6799 Guilford Rd, Rockford, IL 61107

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Explore The Downtown Area On A Treasure Hunt

Henryk Sadura

The best way to get around a new town is to make a game of it. Download a scavenger hunt app for the city in question, and have some fun as you walk the city. Discover some interesting sites and objects, and learn a little about the local history.

The best part is that you get to experience the best part of the city on foot, as you try to find the items listed. If you want to take it a bit more seriously, you could rank yourself against the all-time leaderboard.


The Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is a beautiful facility that has a number of spaces, gardens, exhibits and events to explore. Situated in the Rockford Park District, it is the third-largest conservatory in the state. Its pride and joy is the abundant tropical foliage, which decorates the numerous seating and sculpture housing areas.

Besides the amazing indoor setting, visitors also enjoy an outdoor lagoon with a waterfall and fountains. All of this on the shores of the lazy Rock River.

Visit Rock Cut State Park

5 Things You Must Know Before Moving To Rockford, Michigan | Living in and Around Grand Rapids, MI.

The Rock Cut State Park is situated about 10 miles northeast of Rockford. It is a great place to enjoy nature to the full at any time of the year. It makes our list of top things to do in Rockford.

Rock Cut State Park occupies more than 3,000 acres and contains 40 miles of hiking trails, 23 miles of bike trails, and two lakes. Parts of the park include cross-country and equestrian skiing trails.

Visitors can enjoy diverse activities like boating, canoeing, fishing, and ice skating on Olsen Lake and Pierce Lake. The park also has a 270-site campground with playground equipment, a boat launch, showers, toilets, and electricity. There is also a small seasonal café and a concession stand at Pierce Lake for your enjoyment.

Address: 7318 Harlem Road Loves Park, IL 61111.

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Things To Do Rockford Il: Prairie Street Brewhouse

Housed in the original home of the Rockford Brewing Company, the Prairie Street Brewhouse continues the tradition of bringing fine brews to Rockford. The brewhouse serves a variety of ales, lagers, and porters as well as wines, specialty cocktails, and a full lunch and dinner menu featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients. Live music is available outside on the docks on Monday and Thursday nights during the summer months. Special events such as yoga, pinball, golf, and special five-course dinners, all paired with the perfect brewhouse beers, are held throughout the year. More weekend getaways from Chicago

200 Prairie Street Rockford, IL 61107, Phone: 815-277-9427

Couple Opening Monarch Bakery In Rockford

Courtesy Monarch Bakery

A husband-and-wife team is opening a new bakery in downtown Rockford.

Ben and Abbie Stratton will host a grand opening for Monarch Bakery, at 54 Courtland St. in Rockford in the former Kimberlyâs Boutique, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.

Abbie Stratton is the pastry chef, and her husband runs the business side. Monarch â which previously sold its wares at various farmers markets â will offer traditional pastry and vegan treats, including French macarons and vegan chocolate croissants.

The business also will offer catering for corporate shindigs, weddings and other events.

Stratton first realized the scarcity of vegan and gluten-free pastry options through a college friend.

Courtesy Monarch Bakery

âThrough helping her out, I learned what a difficult time people who are vegan or have egg or dairy allergies have trying to get baked goods, especially ones that taste so good you canât tell the difference,â Stratton said.

The Monarch team is gearing up to offer traditional comfort treats such as scones, warm apple pie and hot cocoa bombs.

Abbie Stratton said her treats taste genuine due to the quality of products she uses.

âWhen making vegan items, I buy the best ingredients, and I put the research into what I do,â she said.

Likewise, she said patience is the key to making the perfect French macaron.

Monarch Bakeryâs hours will be 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

More information is at monarchbakery.com.

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Try Creative Cocktails At Social Urban Bar & Restaurant

A post shared by Social Urban Bar on Jul 6, 2019 at 12:54pm PDT

Designed around the philosophy of housemade, handcrafted, artisanal and fresh drinks, Social Urban Bar & Restaurant is an ideal place to try some creative cocktails in Rockford. The bar is proud of their housemade syrups, mixers, and fresh juices that go into crafting the perfect cocktail for you. Try their crowd favorites like Blue Bourbon, Whiskey Sour, and the many absinthe cocktails that the friendly bartenders will concoct for you in a fun, modern and taproom-style ambiance of Social Urban Bar & Restaurant. The small food plates are worth checking out too.

Social Urban Bar & Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 4pm – 12am Fri – Sat: 4pm – 2am

Find Your Game At Volcano Falls Adventure Park

How to Survive the Rockford City Market with Kids

The state of Illinois largest adventure park features two miniature golf courses. In between holes you can go flat out at the go-karting courses, shoot em up at the laser tag games and arcade, or swing away at the batting cages!

A unique attraction is the Finger Coaster. Its a virtual reality roller coaster that lets you draw your own coaster design and then ride it. If youre still unchallenged, the park offers an 8-scoop ice cream sundae challenge: Finish it in ten minutes, and you get it for free!

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Go Camping At Rock Cut State Park

Rockford State Park view from side of the pond

Rock Cut State Park is an amazing natural attraction in Rockford. This area covers 23 miles of bike trails and 40 miles of hiking trails and has two lakes for fishing and watersports.

The facilities available for camping at Rock Cut State Park earn it a good spot in the rankings. Campers can appreciate comforts like stable electricity, running water, and convenience areas.

If you need food during your camp stay, visit the concession and cafe for something to eat. However, to really enjoy your camping its better to make your own lunch and dinner. Each campsite has a grill you can cook on over the fire. The cost for staying overnight is only 30$ per day. See below our delicious steak and shrimp with rice dinner we made:

Cooking shrimp and rice over the fire

Tour The Ethnic Heritage Museum

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Posted by Ethnic Heritage Museum on Monday, 14 January 2013

Learn about different cultures, people, customs, traditions, costumes, languages, and more at a unique type of museum in Rockford called the Ethnic Heritage Museum. Situated within a historic 1850s house, this museum has six gallery exhibits, each dedicated to displaying the artifacts, paintings and photographs of a different ethnicity like African-American, Polish, Italian, Hispanic, Lithuanian and Irish people. Guided tours of the museum are available only on Sunday afternoons and you can even club it with a visit to the 1857 Greek Revival, Italianate architectural style Graham-Ginestra House that is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Ethnic Heritage Museum

Posted by East State Antique Mall on Sunday, 14 July 2019

A souvenir is a must-buy item while traveling. In Rockford, you have the opportunity to buy unique souvenirs like quaint antiques at the East State Antique Mall. This shop features an amazing array of antique treasures all under one roof. They stock articles like period furniture, vintage English crockery, toys, posters, vinyl, retro kitchen jewelry and costumers, delicate china, rare books and artwork, local military antiques, and so much more! Browse through the massive showroom featuring wares from over 120 dealers, and buy some antiques from East State Antique Mall.

East State Antique Mall

Opening hours: 10am – 7pm

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Plan Your Trip To Rockford

Rockford promises an exciting experience for any visitor. Just like youve seen, the city is blessed with beautiful outdoor areas in abundance as well as other interesting sights.

The museums, parks, nature trails, gardens, shopping malls, historical sites, galleries, and more are what awaits you here. So, start making plans towards seeing next vacation been at Rockford.

Dont forget to tag your loved ones along and if you need itinerary support, feel free to fall back on this piece.

Safe travels!

Stroll On State Parade Returns

Hundreds attend ‘Back the Blue’ rally in downtown Rockford

The annual holiday parade steps off at 2 p.m. on South Main Street at Chestnut Street, and will move north to State Street, then east across the State Street bridge, ending at Third Street.

Parade onlookers are encouraged to find a spot along the route starting at 1 p.m.

It will feature eight large-scale, holiday-themed and character balloons including Frosty the Snowman and Butterscotch, several festive floats, live music DJs and more.

Local organizations and businesses are invited to participate in the parade. The deadline to register is Nov. 5. For pricing options and information, contact Nicole Blough at . Visit gorockford.com/stroll-on-state/parade for more information.

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Find A Sense Of Togetherness At A Japanese Garden


Anderson Japanese Gardens are truly special, in that they seem to stimulate the senses and energize the more emotive side of the soul. Somehow, the combination of rock, water and greenery evoke a sense of expression that really can bond people on a spiritual level.

Stroll through the winding paths, admire the colorful koi, or just take in the peace and serenity of the lush acreage of this gorgeous garden. A great date option, whether exploring a new adventure or rekindling a mature relationship.

Magic Waters Is One Of The Fun Things To Do In Rockford Il

Magic Waters is a wonderful sight, it provides the best spot for visitors to beat the summer heat. It is a big water park that offers a variety of water rides, slides, and attractions for both children and adults.

The younger folks can play and splash in the Little 1Lagoon, while the older ones and adults cab get thrilled in the zoom down The Abyss or the 75-foot Double Dare Drop slide.

There is also a relaxing lazy river and a large wave pool, all being features of the park. And if you have an appetite, there are four concession stands at the park from where you can get food and drinks. In addition, cabana and locker rentals are available.

This answers what to do in Rockford for a fun time, a perfect addition to your list of Rockford things to do list.

Address: 7820 Cherryvale North Blvd Cherry Valley, IL 61016.

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Klehm Arboretum And Botanic Garden

South of downtown, the Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is a living museum offering new displays each month of the year. It features a wide variety of outdoor garden space, as well as a wide-ranging collection of trees throughout the property.

With more than 500 labeled and unique species to discover, Klehm Arboretum is a true sanctuary for trees. On sunny summer weekends, Klehm is also a popular sanctuary for people to explore. A self-guided tour is always encouraged, and scheduled activities like mindfulness practices, annual plant sales, and enchanted story times give more reasons to visit.

Address: 2715 South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois

Pay Your Respect At Lz Peace Memorial

Survey: Rockford Wants Know What You Think of Downtown

A trip to the LZ Peace Memorial is something you should consider for a moving visit in Rockford. It is one of the interesting sights in the city and should make your itinerary.

This memorial was erected as a monument to honor veterans who served the country in peace and war. The monument stands as a testimony to those Winnebago County soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the time of great conflict.

Features of the memorial include a Wall of Honor dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. As part of the monument, there is also a Huey helicopter that served in Vietnam.

Address: 6595 Guilford Rd, Rockford, IL 61107, United States

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Indian Hill Manor And Farm Historic District

Source: indianhillmanor

Indian Hill Manor and Farm Historic District is famous in Rockford for being part of the National Register of Historic Places and looks over the exquisite Kishwaukee and Rock rivers.

The estate dates from the 1900s and you can come here for a tour to see the historic manor house, preserved coach house, and adjacent dairy farm.

The estate is also part of the wider Indian Hill Forest Preserve and is an excellent place to come for a glimpse of how people would have lived in Rockford in the days of old.

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